Victoria Grinberg



Victoria Grinberg

Kavli Institute for Astrophysics & Space Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

I am an astrophysicist and since December 2013 at MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research as a HETG postdoc. My main research interest are accretion and ejection processes in galactic binary systems with ultracompact objects (black holes and neutron stars) and their giant siblings, the AGN. My aim is to bring together different analysis techniques (especially spectral and timing domains and recently also polarization), different energy ranges and different mass scales. My second focus are winds in massive stars: I use X-rays emitted in the vicinity of the compact objects in X-ray binaries to probe their clumpy winds and learn more about their composition and structure with the goal to understand the mass loss of and thus also feedback from (super)giant stars.

More on my work can be found in the research section, once I come around to writing it. One of the most interesting results is the discovery of "Polarized Gamma-ray Emission from the Galactic Black Hole Cygnus X-1" (P. Laurent, ..., VG, 2011, Science 332, 438; ESA press release). Another the use of 16 years of pointed RXTE observation to derive all sky monitor based state definitions and investigate states and state transition on a timescale of few hours over more than 17 years (Grinberg et. al, 2013, A&A 554, A88; A&A highlights) . You'll also find an overview over my publications and talks here.

Over the years, I've been strongly involved both in teaching and in professional service & public outreach (want someone to talk to young or not so young people about how cool astrophysics are or what it takes to be a woman in a STEM field? Talk to me!). I was women's representative of the physics department at the Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, and organized the literature club, a weekly series of short talks on hot topics at the Remeis Observatory. I'm currently co-running the General Relativity Informal Tea-Time Series (GRITTS) here at MIT (we welcome ideas for talks!) and I organized the 2014 Kavli MIT Postdoc Symposium. Together with Dr. Lia Corrales, I am organizing the Interactive Spectral Interpretation System (ISIS) Workshop 2015 (August 17-18 2015, exact day TBD). My current students are Sarah Melvin (MIT, UROP-student) and Nico Wunderling (Remeis Observatory/ECAP, University Erlangen Nuremberg; previous bachelor student, now master student).

I did my PhD in 2010-2013 at the Dr. Karl Remeis-Observatory, Bamberg & Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics (ECAP) with Prof. Dr. Jörn Wilms and my diploma in physics 2005-2010 at the LMU Munich with Prof. Dr. Harald Lesch, with stints at University of California San Diego, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, and the University of Amsterdam.

During my studies of physics in 2005-2010 I've held scholarships by the German National Honours Society (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) and Bavarian Elite Support Law (Bayerische Eliteförderung, Max-Weber-Program), whom I thankfully acknowledge for the support over the years.

Before that and mainly pre-university I worked as a translator (Russian to German, focus on patents and patent-related texts) for an NGO and as a private teacher for physics and maths.